The 5 Elements of Success in Tenant Representation

Ryan Boozer March 16 5 min read

Doing one or two good deals can be the result of good luck, doing four, could be down to hard work or having good contacts. But for a successful career as a Tenant Rep, you need much more than that.
I’ve been a Tenant Rep broker for more than 14 years, having completed more than 1000 deals in my career. No matter how simple or complex, large or small the assignment, I have to tell you, the same five elements are always present in my deals.

  1. A robust service platform
  2. Research capabilities and data analysis
  3. A collaborative network
  4. The trust of your firm—empowerment to act
  5. The trust of your client—it’s all about people

Here I’ll share how those five elements played out with my team’s assignment for O.W. Lee.

O.W. Lee 

Stream’s Tenant Representation (Rep) division was engaged by O.W. Lee, a family-owned and operated furniture manufacturing company, based in California. The client was considering relocating the business due to rising costs and quality of life considerations. The firm had commissioned several surveys over the years, but until Stream’s engagement, an out of State relocation was just a vague idea.

A Robust Service Platform  

O.W. Lee engaged our team to evaluate options and test the feasibility of their relocation idea, having established that 100 out of 150 employees would relocate with them to a market like Texas. The client was impressed by the capabilities that our service platform would provide them and the opportunities we could uncover by utilizing the platform’s resources.

First, Stream’s agile and enterprising platform is structured to deliver the efficiencies of scale with the speed, flexibility, and resilience to keep our clients and our brokers competitive. Our service platform is not just a way to do business, it’s also how we win new business—by demonstrating to clients the full scope of our interdisciplinary real estate capabilities.

Our platform allowed us to craft a unique multi-market solution for O.W Lee and provided options to fast-track research, marketing, communications, and negotiations—collaborating between markets, departments and individuals. Stream is a huge supporter of keeping our talent in a position of strength; during our engagement with O.W. Lee, our use of this enterprising and flexible platform made us efficient and effective in advising the client, and as you will see, enabled us to retain all commissions for the assignment in-house with our team’s depth of understanding of the markets involved. Our platform allowed for development potential or a joint venture partnership for the right opportunity.

Research Capabilities and Data Analysis 

O.W. Lee was planning to exit California but was not fixed on a new location. Our team knew a move could significantly reduce costs but had to prove this out.

We know that showing is better than telling. That’s why we’ve invested in GIS mapping and ESRI data capture technology. Having the ability to evidence statements of opinion with statements of fact makes for a solid case. It’s more than beneficial: providing intelligent measured analysis, comparable data, and locational statistics when advising clients is critical. 

We completed eight surveys, six in Texas, one in Arkansas, and one in Oklahoma, starting with comparisons of taxation rates, labor availability, and wage costs to start building out the calculations using labor demographic studies. Following the data gathering and analysis, we demonstrated just how significant and advantageous the relocation could be.  

A Collaborative Network 

After discussing the sale and lease options for the current facility, I was able to collaborate with another broker of my choosing in Stream’s Orange County office to bring him into the equation for the disposition of the facilities in California. Because Stream operates in both markets, we were able to make the transactions and transitions seamless. I reached out to a colleague I knew specifically had the negotiating skills and the wide network needed in that particular market. More simply, keeping everything in-house would garner seamless execution and the best results for the client.

We valued the existing 150,000 SF property in California and deployed Stream’s network to locate the most suitable property in Texas. We conducted further surveys in Texas and the results were broad. Feedback from multiple vendors, multiple clients, and multiple customers provided differing ideas and suggestions: you have to be in Houston, you have to be in Dallas, you have to be in Austin.

The Trust of Your Firm—Empowerment to Act 

Stream empowers all of its professionals, keeping us free from bureaucracy so that we can be agile and act in our client’s best interests. Sometimes that empowerment to act can lead to innovation and companywide change. On this occasion, it gave me the autonomy to build my relationship and to advise the client from a personal perspective.

With the feasibility of three locations established, I needed to narrow the client’s focus down to manageable options. I connected with the family members and asked questions about lifestyle to help narrow locations and establish where they really wanted to locate. While they loved the forest of Arkansas, they also loved Austin; those places are polar opposites, and it was necessary to narrow the search.  The family’s focus and our discussions very quickly centered on Texas.

Dallas was considered to be a good base and so O.W. Lee’s leadership flew in to explore for a few days. It was an opportunity to show them our knowledge of the market and evaluate a number of market areas. We toured Dallas, then San Antonio and Austin to learn more about what those locations offered. Ultimately, they really enjoyed San Antonio and decided to focus their relocation in that area.

We identified five suitable buildings in greater San Antonio including an option in a small town in Comfort, Texas. The 400,000 SF facility offered space for expansion in an area the client loved. The demographics were a perfect fit, plus the location offers a number of residential areas nearby to meet employee relocation needs.

The Trust of Your Client—It’s All About People 

As a family-owned business, there were different priorities to consider. This business is all about people. At Stream, our focus is truly on people first, then real estate. We developed the client relationship and gained trust by listening, demonstrating our commitment to achieving the clients’ goals, delivering value, and seamless execution.

Feedback from the client included how much they appreciated having a single point of contact throughout the process across the two markets, with one person to aggregate data, deliver options—and ultimately solutions. Clear communication and responsiveness helped us to build a strong, trusted advisor relationship.

Seamless Execution: Made Possible by Leveraging All Elements  

Because Stream’s professionals worked as partners in both markets, we were able to better serve the client and keep all elements of the client’s relocation and space disposition in-house. The client received seamless service delivery and the trust developed by working with a single point of contact to manage all facets of their transactions. Stream trusts and empowered us to act, and we were never distracted by bureaucracy, which resulted this time (and every time) in greater efficiency. After sourcing the O.W. Lee deal, our teams in both Texas and California had access to in-house research capabilities and data analysis to inform and support the client’s decision-making process.

And finally, our robust platform provided my team with the connections, collaboration, and market intelligence to successfully execute and deliver for the client—at every touchpoint.  The benefit of all this to the client? The relocation from a 150,000 SF facility in California to a 400,000 SF facility in Texas resulted in 2.6 times more space for 25% less cost. Stream served all facets of our client’s real estate needs through our agile and collaborative multi-market platform.

Ask yourself, do you want to try your luck with one or two deals or are you seeking long-term success? In striving to build a successful career, consider partnering with professionals in an agile organization, who use proven methods and practices, that drive results to take you further, faster.

Ryan Boozer is a Managing Director and Partner, leading Stream’s Industrial division in Dallas, Texas. 

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